By Chinenye Offor
Abuja – The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to use culture to promote the nation’s image positively abroad.
Mr Folorunsho Coker, the Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
He therefore expressed appreciation on the organisation of the first annual cultural day in Berlin aimed at promoting positive image of Nigeria to Germans in Berlin and others in the Diaspora.
Coker said that the maiden edition of the event was another approach by the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Mr Yusuf Tuggar to showcase to the world the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria.
The NTDC boss said that the event attracted lots of audiences from the creative industry, Nigerian embassy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and businessmen, among others.
According to him, Tuggar used the event to showcase to the world the nation’s diversities in the areas of foods, arts, culture, fashion and music.
He said that Nigeria’s diversity was among the nation’s greatest resources including the wide array of cultures and languages in Nigeria.
The DG said that Nigeria has a high degree of cross-fertilisation in the areas of culture that had been ongoing for centuries.
He stressed that it was important not to perceive Nigerian culture as an aspect of another culture, but should rather be allowed to stand on its own.
The NTDC boss said during the event, Berlin residents enjoyed contemporary Nigerian music.
He said that the Nigerian film industry surpassed the growth of its population as the third largest in the world after Hollywood and Bollywood.
“Most Germans do not know about Nigeria and most Nigerians do not know about Germany and unless we project our culture and heritage in that space in the Diaspora, we will always be ignorant of each other.
“The ambassador used the event to showcase the nation’s heritage and Berlin being the cultural capital of Germany, is a good space to occupy and showcase what is good about Nigeria,” he said.
Coker said that it was imperative to remind ourselves of the importance of cultural property as well as its national identity to a nation such as Nigeria.
He said most of the nation’s greatest cultural property that stood as testimonies to the country’s rich cultural history and heritage remained out of sight and unknown to majority of Nigerians.
Coker said that most if the arts on display in the museums in the world were a proof that Africa possessed “a pre-Newtonian empirical reality’’ or traditional society that dates back to early centuries.
He noted that the geography of a country helped shaped its identity, adding that geography itself conspired to make Nigeria a multicultural nation.
He therefore urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to use the rich cultural heritage, fashion, arts among others to promote the nation’s image and heritage positively.
He expressed appreciation to the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany for hosting the maiden edition of the annual Nigerian cultural day.